Global Understanding program
The Global Understanding (GU) course is run by the Department of English. The course is organised by the Global Partners in Education (GPE) which is part of East Carolina University (ECU), our partner university in North Carolina, USA. The GPE operates in over 60 institutions in 32 countries worldwide.
During the GU course, Krosno students are partnered with 3 different global institutions. We use videoconferencing technology to link with our partners for a period of 3 weeks during which time we have two 50-minute class link meetings per week.
Students discuss the following topics in class links: College Life, Family Life, The Meaning of Life and Religion, Stereotypes and Prejudices. There is also an introduction meeting and a final meeting.
The course structure encourages the building of relationships in and out of class. Students from Krosno are given a foreign partner with whom they communicate during the class links and out of class via email, Skype or social media. With the international partner, Krosno students discuss not only the in-class topics, but also work on a final collaborative presentation which is delivered in the final link meeting. The students build a rapport with their partner, negotiate time zones and cultural differences in order to successfully create a joint PowerPoint presentation.
Krosno has been involved in the GPE and run the GU course for the past 5 years. In this time, we have linked with the USA, China, India, Pakistan, Algeria, the Lebanon, Russia, Macedonia, Malaysia, Peru, Mexico, Colombia and Nigeria.
Apart from our partners in the USA, all other members of the GPE are either foreign or second speakers of English. The GPE cover all continents and range from Brazil, Peru and Mexico to Nigeria, Ethiopia and Malaysia. There are also GPE members in Pakistan, India, China and Russia, providing a very global perspective for our students. The participants from other universities are also from different academic disciplines: business and economics; social sciences; life sciences; mathematics; engineering; health; and pedagogical studies. This adds to the world perspective that attendees of the course gain.
The manner of communication provides a safe environment for the introduction and learning of crucial global communication skills. The course benefits our students by giving them the opportunity to learn about different cultures on a peer-to-peer arrangement rather than having lectures on different cultures. The students engage on a question and answer basis and are free to explore any issues. By learning how to communicate with people from a variety of places, GU students develop their intercultural communication competences and learn skills necessary for global awareness in the modern world.
Krosno received the Global Centre of Excellence Award in 2015 from the GPE for the work involved in running and developing the GU programme. Additionally, Dr Christopher Brighton was awarded the Teacher of Excellence in 2014 and Mgr. Lukasz Sanokowski was given the Technical Support Award in 2013.